It is now clear that, for many reasons, corn has serious limitations as feedstock for biofuel production. While cellulosic biomass can potentially provide a sizable fraction of the US liquid fuel needs for transportation, current technologies must be further improved to realize cost-competitive processes for cellulosic biofuels. This presentation will discuss three major scientific and engineering challenges to this end. Identification of these challenges is based on an analysis of the biomass-to-biofuels value chain which allows assessment of present production costs as well as their sensitivity to changes at critical steps of the value chain. This exercise guides establishing of research priorities and also supports guarded optimism for the development of competitive processes for fuel production from renewable resources in the intermediate future.
Dr. Gregory Stephanopoulos is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. He received his B.S. Degree from the National Technical University of Athens, M.S. Degree from the University of Florida and his Ph.D. Degree from the University of Minnesota, all in Chemical Engineering. He joined, upon finishing his doctorate in 1978, the Chemical Engineering Faculty of Caltech and in 1985 he was appointed Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT where he has been ever since.
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